As I am sure you have heard by now, the board of directors have voted to move the Illinois State Shoot to the last weekend of July. Due to both political and health concerns, the board saw no way forward other than to move the shoot later into the shooting season. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our shooters and look forward to seeing all of you in July.
About a week ago, I was deeply saddened to read that Joe Spradley had passed. I first met Joe at the Illinois State Shoot years ago when we both wanted to buy an old Remington trap gun (Joe liked Remingtons as much as I do). I ended up with the gun, but much more important, I got to know Joe. If there is a dictionary of phrases, all you would need to do is put a picture of Joe next to the phrase “class act,” and you’ve said it all. We will miss you, Joe. When I join you someday, we will find two high-grade Remingtons and shoot 50-bird derbies forever.
The country is just starting to open up now, and the shooting season is ramping up. Due to Illinois’ plan to open, small clubs are going to be the way to go shoot. Please support our small clubs as much as you can. We need them to survive this pandemic for our sport to grow.
Everyone stay safe, and I’ll see you in July.
Greetings, Indiana shooters! July 2020 is here, and it is time to welcome everyone to the Indiana State Shoot, being held at the homegrounds of the Indiana Trapshooter’s Association, the Indiana Gun Club. To say it has been an odd year to be president of the ITA would be a definite understatement. Even with all of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, it has certainly been an honor to serve on the ITA Board of Directors these past eight years, and I look forward to continuing my involvement for many years to come as Indiana ATA Delegate.
Speaking of the Indiana State Shoot, here’s a special message from our ITA Spectator Experience coordinator, Roxie Antczak:
“July means it is time for the Spectator Experience at the Indiana State Shoot! Join us for ‘Fun In The Sun.’ Don’t miss fabulous fun for families and shooters alike, including our annual Welcome Party and popular Coffee & Crafts. You’ll be able to find our daily activities list on the ITA website and on the Spectator Experience Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ITASpectatorExperience/). During the shoot, daily events will be posted on our information board outside the gun club. We can’t wait to see you there!”
Also don’t forget to plan to shoot at the ATA Central Zone July 31-Aug. 2. Evansville GC will once again be one of the locations for this shoot, and if you’ve never been there, you really need to add this shoot to your list.
Please continue to monitor any shoot information on the Indiana trap website www.indianatrap.com. If there are any vital updates about changes to the state shoot program, they will be posted there, as well as any schedule changes with our gun clubs around the state. I want to thank John Voliva for all of the work he does to keep the website up to date, as well as Clarence Mason for maintaining the shoot calendar on the website. Obviously, this year was a lot more work than normal for Clarence, trying to keep up with all of the shoot changes due to COVID-19.
Don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything or would like to have anything included in this article for Indiana. My e-mail is email@example.com. I hope to see many if not all of you very soon at a trapshoot somewhere!
Hello, Iowa trapshooters! I hope all of you and your families are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Hopefully, as you are reading this, you are in attendance at our Iowa State Trapshooting Championships, enjoying a great time with old friends and meeting many new ones as well. Even with the late start to the season, there are still plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy some trapshooting with all our friends at some great local clubs.
In the past few months I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of our membership about shoot dates and club schedules and have enjoyed visiting with and answering questions from all of you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about shoot date changes or anything else.
We have some great shoots coming up after our Iowa State Shoot: the Central Zone, July 31-Aug. 2, and Heartland Grand, Aug. 24-30, both at Stockdale GC in Ackley, and the Grand American, Aug. 5-15. Also from August to mid October, many of our great clubs here in Iowa are holding registered shoots, so make plans to attend as many of these as you can and enjoy some great times while showing your support for these fine clubs.
Again, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Stay safe, and I’ll see you on the trap range.
Shooting in Michigan got under way again in mid May. By the 18th, I had shot at 400 targets and once again had empty hulls to reload. I note that hand sanitizer does not seem to remove the finish on my guns.
The rescheduled Spring Team Shoot was scheduled for June 27-28 at our Mason homegrounds. The 110th state shoot starts June 30 and ends July 5. Please keep the 46th Fall Team Shoot to be held Sept. 10-13 on your shooting calendar.
The Michigan Trapshooting Association (MTA) has lost significant revenue because of the lockdown in the state. We canceled the Great Lakes Grand and lost the SCTP shoots, the State High School Championship, and the biggest loss, the National High School Championship. With schools closed across the country, the high school teams couldn’t organize let alone find a place open to shoot and have a 10-week spring season. We’ve heard that many of the youth shooting groups are planning a fall season.
There have been numerous questions about the board’s decision to cancel the Great Lakes Grand this year. While the board members have tried to answer the queries as they come in, there will be more on this at the MTA’s annual meeting on Friday, July 3 between Events 10 and 11. Please plan to attend.
- B. Lewis
Greetings from the North Star State! One year ago in my column for Trap & Field, I was reporting on the high school season and gave you some results of Minnesota shooters’ successes at the Missouri State Shoot. My, what a difference a year makes. This month all we really have to talk about is the effects of COVID-19 on the trapshooting world. As the country begins to open up, each state is handling that process differently. In Minnesota we are awaiting the June 1 announcement from our governor that will have a huge impact on our ability to hold a state shoot. The ownership group at the Alexandria SP and the management are aware that if the same restrictions continue that are in place at the present time, holding the shoot will be much more difficult, if not impossible, than it would be under “normal” circumstances. I am aware that you will be reading this in your July issue, so by that time, we will know if we are able to have a shoot or not. Our State Fair and the Game Fair (run by Chuck and Loral I Delaney) have both been canceled. The MTA board has decided that there will be no target attainment awards given at the state shoot (if there is one), and the all-state teams will take a one-year hiatus. As shooters, we are holding our collective breath awaiting word from the governor.
Shooters are also waiting to see how the Western Grand in Vernal, UT, the first week of June and the Kansas State Shoot the following week are attended and conducted. Kansas has been trying to pre-squad, pre-cashier and pre-classify as much as possible, and it will be a good test to see if those measures are successful and can be adapted by other states as well. Those of us in the upper Midwest are certainly hopeful that the Nebraska State Shoot (no news as of this writing) and Iowa State Shoot will be held. It appears that Wisconsin will go on as scheduled, and my sources tell me the same about South Dakota.
Thankfully our local clubs have been able to open, and shooters have had some opportunity to shoot, following social distancing, etc. I spoke to Wally Shelstad at the Buffalo GC, and he has had shooters out practicing but is awaiting the June 1 announcement that would allow for leagues and ATA events. Hopefully by the time you read this, that will have occurred.
I was at the Grand Forks, ND, gun club May 23 for a registered shoot. They had a good turnout. You can imagine the frustration of those of us in Minnesota, when if you cross the Red River, you are able to have a shoot, but in Minnesota we have not had any ATA shoots up to this time.
Hopefully when you read this, we are getting ready for a Minnesota State Shoot. Stay safe. As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-456-2000.
Paul T. Cyr
for ATA Delegate Randy Jones
With the current pandemic, there hasn’t been a lot of shooting going on. With the state of Ohio starting to open, there are a few clubs beginning to shoot again. The Ohio State Trapshooting Association and the ATA are doing their best to get things going and to keep everyone safe.
July is here, yippee; it has been tough these past months holding our breath on whether shoots will happen. But the positive is . . . see you at the state shoot.
I would like to thank every volunteer at every club and board members for working on getting their clubs open, even if limited shooting or socializing had to happen. Lots of work and planning had to go into making it work out for all. Thank you, ATA, for all you are trying to make happen for us shooters also. The 2019 state shoot was a picnic compared to what will be happening at the 2020 state shoot.
So now I would like to share these winners who were forgotten over the winter. Well, maybe some of the names but not Randy Bolton, our 100-straight belt buckle winner again. We might need to make this a 101-target event just to see if he can do again.
Ho-Chunk Gaming Doubles Championship was won by Chad Blanke with 99, beating George Hass by only one target. Kolar Arms Singles Championship was won by John Reeb with a great 200 straight. Runnerup Tim Mackey had a 199. Recob’s Target Shop Handicap Championship winner Jason John posted a 99 in handicap. Greg Arneson tried to catch him with a 98, also a great score. The HAA championship trophy was won by Tim Mackey with 391. Then there is Chad Blanke again winning the HOA with 1,050.
So some of you might wonder why I am writing about 2019 winners. To me, it is very important to keep the memories going of the great scores from year to year. We all are champions in our own way. I am sure hoping to write about you next year at this same time.
Visit the WTA website for all the guidelines that have been put in place so that we can make our state shoot a moment in history. Then 2021 will hopefully come back as a normal state shoot.
Please ask if you can help at the shoot; keeping all things sanitized will be something we all will need to help with.
I’m looking forward to seeing you at the state shoot and mostly at the trophy pod. (But dang it, no photo hugs.)
Take care and see you very soon. Please keep smiling because I am, and I can’t wait to share it without a mask on.
Sandra Jo Jack
for ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring
Hello from the Atlantic Provinces. I am happy to report that gun clubs here are reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Please be patient and follow whatever procedures your gun club has in place to comply with public health orders and COVID-19 restrictions.
A preliminary shoot program is now available on www.shootatlantic.com for the 2020 Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot scheduled for Sept. 3-6 in Yarmouth, NS, at the Highland GC. All four Atlantic Provinces have released plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions in a controlled manner. Unfortunately, no Atlantic Province has given a firm date on when sporting competitions or social gatherings of greater than 50 people can take place. With that in mind, the Highland GC and the APTA will continue to monitor the situation. The latest information will be available on shootatlantic.com.
Shawn d’Entremont of Middle West Pubnico, NS, was recently featured in our Shooter Profile section. Shawn has been shooting ATA targets since 2018 and shoots handicap from the 21-yard line. You can read all about him on shootatlantic.com under our Profiles section.
For more information on the APTA, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or visit shootatlantic.com.
It is Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and as I have for the last 36 years, I would be shooting the 200-bird Singles Championship at the Delaware State Shoot—originally at the Wilmington TC in Delaware, then the Millington SC in Maryland, and most recently at the Pine Belt SC in Indian Mills, NJ.
This year, because of the worldwide pandemic, trapshooting here in New Jersey stopped back in March. Finally on May 22, our governor acquiesced and opened the parks, beaches and outdoor shooting facilities in our state. So here I was this year just shooting 75 practice targets, which I was grateful to be doing, at the Howell TC in Farmingdale.
Howell opens at 10 a.m. on Sundays, and today cooped-up hunters, weekend shooters and ATA members were there at 9 a.m. wanting to pull the trigger, break some targets and smell the gunpowder. I cruised in around 11:30 and had to wait over an hour-and-a-half to shoot. There were many familiar faces in the crowd, some wearing face masks and others without. It was nice seeing everyone again.
July is going to be a busy month for ATA trapshooters here in New Jersey. There are so many choices for us. Elysburg has their annual Pennsylvania Grand July 3-5. Then remember the New York State Shoot is July 7-12 in Cicero. The Delaware State Shoot kicks off at Pine Belt July 9-12, then New Jersey starts at Pine Belt on the following Thursday, the 16th, and goes through July 19. The next day, July 20, starts the rescheduled Empire Grand up in Cicero, NY, from the 20th to the 22nd. The next day in Cicero starts the Eastern Zone Championships, July 23-26. Then it is on to Elysburg for the PSSA Summer Championships July 30-Aug. 2. Then of course Aug. 5-15 is the Grand American in Sparta, IL.
Also, remember the New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. July 18 in the clubhouse. This year George Wright and posthumously Earl Pagliughi will be honored; refreshments will be served.
Shooters, remember the state association meeting starts at 8:30 Sunday morning, July 19, in the clubhouse. All New Jersey shooters are invited.
On a sad note, Pete Zarzaca called to let me know that Robert E. Washkevich from Washington Township had died Feb. 19; he was 74. Bob had attended the then Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science, which is now called the University of the Sciences. He graduated with a degree in pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist until he retired. He married his high school sweetheart, Christine Money. Bob enjoyed traveling and skiing with his wife, and hunting and trapshooting with his many friends. He joined the ATA in 1966, becoming a life member. During his career he registered 50,450 singles, 19,450 handicap and 1,300 doubles targets. Bob was survived by his wife Christine, daughter Alicia, son-in-law Kyle and granddaughter Phoebe. Donations can be made in his name to the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia.
If you have an idea for an article or just a question, I can be reached at 732-546-7910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings from Ontario, Canada. As I write this article in late May, Ontario is just starting a phased re-opening of some non-essential businesses. There are still long line-ups, social distancing is in place, and facemasks are required in many places.
We just got the approval for gun clubs and gun ranges to open for practice only (as of May 19). Ontario clubs are putting safety protocols in place to meet the applicable requirements. When Ontario can host competitions and have meaningful enough sized gatherings is anyone’s guess. But the OPTA is still optimistic that our Ontario provincial championships can be hosted at St. Thomas as scheduled (July 30-Aug. 3).
At this writing, the border between Canada and USA remains closed for non-essential travel until June 21.
As if COVID-19 wasn’t bad enough, our government has imposed a further “gun ban” that has 1,500 types of guns on the list. In addition to these numbers, any firearm that has a barrel width of 20mm or greater or firearms capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 joules are also prohibited.
The industry standard, as I understand it, is that the barrel measurements are taken from front of the chamber and aft of the choke. The government has come out with a “clarification” that 12- and 10-gauge shotguns are not prohibited. I have had U.S. residents inquiring about this issue, as they have heard conflicting viewpoints and don’t want to have their shotguns seized and/or be charged for violation of our laws. This is an issue not just for clay target shooters but wildfowlers as well.
Gas prices are low, but there is no place to go. Shelter at home means increased stress levels and a feeling of helplessness for many. Our office is uncertain what to expect—a new baby boom or a raft of divorce cases.
Do the best you can under exceptional circumstances, and remember the words once spoken and believed to have origins in Chinese folklore: “May you live in exciting times.” Enough excitement already.
ATA Eastern Zone Vice President
As I sit here and write this article for T&F, it’s a few days from the Memorial Day weekend, and COVID-19 still has a hold on the world. I hope that temperatures will rise and with the warmer months, everything will start to get back to normal. Better days may be ahead, but in the meantime, stay safe and vigilant.
The Alabama State Shoot, in conjunction with the ATA Southern Zone Shoot, has been rescheduled for July 16-19 at the Dixie TC in Mathews. It should be a great and warm shoot! If you want to shoot and have a great time, I hope you can make it.
Please keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers. Without the men and women of our armed forces protecting this great country, we would not be able to enjoy this great sport. When you see a soldier, thank him or her for their service.
If you have any news to report or need my help, contact me at email@example.com. Shoot well and shoot often.
This report should have a load of state shoot info, but as you know, it has been rescheduled. In case you didn’t notice, the weather on our original shoot dates was magnificent. Just as nice as last year. I’m hoping for decent weather on our new dates.
No bad news this report. The good news is Mid Carolina is holding their Big 50 shoots on their regular dates. Other good news is Ohio is going to hold their state shoot as scheduled, the middle of June . So hopefully Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as the Zone, can keep their rescheduled dates.
From no shooting to almost non-stop shoots, it’s going to be crazy. Gather up many flats of shells. There won’t be time to reload. Make sure to take some shade and keep hydrated; you know it’ll be hot.
I thought about not writing a report this month, but with states moving to Phase 2 and even some moving to Phase 3, hopefully things are getting back to normal by now. To be on the safe side, be sure to check with someone to see if the shoot is still scheduled before driving too far.
June 30, Kentucky AIM Shoot followed by the Kentucky State Shoot, July 1-5 at Berea; July 1-5, Virginia State Shoot at Stephenson; July 8-12, West Virginia State has been rescheduled, dates TBD; July 11-12, Georgia State at Covington; July 16-19, Alabama State at Mathews to run concurrently with the ATA Southern Zone (the Southern Zone is scheduled to be held at three other locations, Berea, KY; Bostic, NC; as well the Silver Dollar at Odessa, FL); July 22-26, South Carolina State at Spartanburg. Mississippi was scheduled to have their state shoot, but it has been rescheduled for sometime in October. Again, check with the host club to make sure a shoot is still scheduled.
In last month’s article I failed to list Caleb Clayton for attaining AAA-27-AAA in 2018.
The 2020 rulebooks are now available online. So read the rulebook, please.
For more info, check out our website at shootatatn.com. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATA Southern Zone Vice President
My prayer is that by the time you’re reading this, the worst of the pandemic is behind us. I’m proud to say that most of our gun clubs here in the state are open. It looks like the month of July is going to be busy for trapshooters. Be sure to check the ATA website for the latest information on the shoots near you.
I hope to see you on the line!
Luke 9:23-24 KJV—And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake the same shall save it.
I can be reached at email@example.com. God bless.
Light at the end of the tunnel: it’s the middle of April, and I have just learned the death toll for New York and the rest of the U.S. has leveled out—great news. The rest of the world seems to be on the mend as well. There’s talk of lifting the quarantine in stages.
I salute all of America for standing together as we stayed apart. We did this not only for our own good, but for the greater good of all Americans. From border to border and coast to coast, we as Americans can all feel a deep satisfaction for a job well done. Many of our first responders went above and beyond the call of duty by bravely confronting a deadly unseen enemy each day. We all owe them a great debt for their sacrifice.
Finally a little much-needed trap news: the Southwestern Zone meeting was held May 9 at 10 a.m., called to order by ATA President Mike Herman. The main topics were shoot sites for this year’s Southwestern Zone Shoot plus the Southwestern Grand. The closest site to Colorado is the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Their contact number is 800-494-4853. Shoot date is July 10-12. For more information, contact NM Delegate Bob Leibel at 575-631-9997 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you are planning to attend this year’s Southwestern Zone Shoot.
We Coloradans have a unique opportunity this year because for the first and maybe the only time, the Southwestern Grand is also going to be held at the NRA Wittington Center Sept. 29-Oct. 4. You better plan to attend this year. I don’t believe it will ever be any closer. If you are looking to up your target counts, these two shoots should be good ones.
It’s the end of May. There hasn’t been much going on in our state. Our governor still has us pretty much shut down. We can go outside, and we’re supposed to wear a mask at all times. Anyway, the state shoot is on for July 9-12. I hope it will all go well and hope to see y’all there. I hope everyone is well and staying safe.
The first of May arrived with a slight flattening of the coronavirus, but the number of cases is still on the rise. In the last week of April, we went from 3,121 cases and 188 deaths to 3,670 and 222 deaths. The shelter-in-place order is still in place and shows no sign of being lifted anytime soon. OTSA held a BOD meeting by conference call April 30. It was decided our best option would be to reschedule our state shoot to July 6-12. This is the same week of the ATA Southwestern Zone Shoot, so both shoots will be held in the same week, but as separate events. The state shoot will be the first four days (Monday through Thursday), and the Zone shoot will be the last three days (Friday through Sunday), as usual.
There are several counties in Oklahoma that have little or no cases of the coronavirus. One of these happens to be Boise City, OK, far out in the western panhandle. John Harbaugh just built a new trap range, and since they are in an area not affected, an AIM shoot was held April 26. There were seven shooters competing in the wind. They had one 99 and two 97s for the high scores. Brayden Cook had 89 and 97 for 186. Clay Laughlin had 91 and 97 for 188. Justin Cavett had 95 and 99 for 194. John has shoots scheduled through the year, depending on how the virus plays out.
Lowell said they have been making major improvements at the Ada S&TC during this down time. They have rebuilt the roof on Traphouse 3 to make loading faster and better. They have rebuilt fences and painted them. They have repaired and checked all voice pulls. They will be ready when shooting can resume. Plans are to reopen for limited practice on the weekend of May 16 with state restrictions in place.
The OTSA homegrounds in El Reno has reopened with the same state restrictions. On May 12 they held a Big 50 program. New young shooter Cashlin Smith won the handicap with 49. She loves shooting the doubles. Nathan Lemke won the singles with 50 straight. Paul Hooper and Nathan were high in the doubles with 45s.
Red Dirt GC held their second shoot on May 17. Kenyon Bert and Nathan had 99s on the first 100 singles. Reese Hightower and Kenyon had 98s on the second 100. The handicap was won by Hunter Pence with 99 from the 19-yard line, and Kenyon was second with 95.
OTSA’s May 19 Big 50 program had good scores. Nathan won the singles for a second time with 50 straight. Emma Patswall broke 48; she is one of two sisters who received free AIM memberships. Kenyon Bert and Tucker Colby broke 47s for the high handicap scores. Bill Dean won the doubles with 48.
Gary Bristol has sent in rescheduled dates for the Shawnee Twin Lakes TR, and they will be posted on the website.
On May 16 Texas reported the largest surge to date of 1,800 new virus cases. Oklahoma is one of 10 states starting Phase 1 of reopening while still reporting new cases of the coronavirus. On May 21 Oklahoma had gone from 4,852 cases and 278 deaths to 5,849 cases and 307 deaths in a week. With the Memorial weekend coming up, it was announced on TV news that “Troopers would be out and about looking for groups of 10 or more.”
We are now only a couple weeks off from our original state shoot date of June 2-7. We can only hope that all of this has calmed down by our rescheduled date of July 6-9, followed by the Southwestern Zone Shoot July 10-12.
Iowa Park GC held their shoot May 23-24. Attendance was great, and many Oklahoma shooters made the trip to compete. Pat Stacey won the doubles on Saturday with 289×300 and the singles on Sunday with 100 straight. Kya Funkhouser won A class with 279×300 and A class singles Sunday with 99. Troy Collier won the handicap on Saturday with 94. On Sunday Kya and Nathan Lemke won yardage, moving them to the 27-yard line for the first time. Dennis Patrick won the first handicap on Sunday. Vickie Farmer won ladies’ in two events on Sunday, and Christopher Diller took trophies in all three events on Sunday.
OTSA’s May 26 Big 50 program had very high scores again. Ron Bliss and Dennis Patrick broke 50 straight in the singles. Cashlin Smith broke another 49 to match her score of May 12 in the handicap. Ron Bliss broke 47 to win the doubles. As I call and talk with our Oklahoma shooters, they are all ready to go back to shooting; however, they are apprehensive about the coronavirus. Clubs are all ready, and it is just a matter of when we can do it safely.
Memorial Day is the day we pay tribute to all those who lost their lives defending our freedom, and it reminds us that freedom is not free. Let’s also thank all the health care workers risking their lives to help us make it through the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19. That is the news these days. It has interrupted our world and will be talked about for many years. No matter what your views are on the stay-at-home orders and the shutting down of some businesses, many lives have been lost. Please pray for the families of the victims of COVID-19. They are hurting and need all the prayers we can send their way.
The world of trapshooting has also been affected by the pandemic we are in. Many shoots have been canceled, combined or rescheduled. The month of July will host many of the state shoots. The ATA office and the staff at Trap & Field will be very busy in July, and the Grand will be right around the corner. Please be patient during this time. These people do a fantastic job, and I would like to extend my thanks to both the ATA and Trap & Field. Thanks for a job well done.
I want to send an “attaboy” to my friend Jeff Renegar. At the Zone IV shoot in Ft. Worth, in a pouring rain, Jeff ran the 50th 100 straight of his career. There was no doubt that Jeff would earn his 50th 100 straight, but to do it in that kind of rainstorm was quite an accomplishment. Congratulations, Jeff!
I have mentioned this many times, but I’m going to mention it again. Many people pre-squadded for the Zone IV shoot, which by the way is a very good thing, but many people who didn’t get there to shoot all the events they squadded for did not bother to call and release the positions. Some people who pre-squadded did not even show up to shoot at all. This is very inconsiderate to the other shooters. It causes them to shoot on a short squad and prevents other shooters from shooting earlier. If, and that’s a big if, I had my way, if you pre-squadded and did not show or call and release your squad positions, I would not allow you to pre-squad for a year. Again, that is just my thought.
I am still having a problem with people bringing an up-to-date average card to classification. The thinking is that you have a computer that has my scores in it, so I don’t need a card. That is not the case. The rulebook does not say that. It says everyone should present an up-to-date average card to the person classifying. If you don’t believe me, you might check the rulebook.
I mentioned the Zone IV shoot earlier. I want to express my thanks to the staff at Ft. Worth T&SC. Steve Bradbury and the staff there did a fantastic job. I would also like to thank the officers of Zone IV: Billy Hopson, Drew Fryman and Bradbury for a job well done. Many people have no idea what is involved in preparation for a shoot. If you are one of these people who just shows up and shoots then leaves, maybe you should volunteer, run for office, or just ask if there is anything you can do to help. The more you know about how it all happens, the more you will appreciate the people who do all the work. Don’t bitch, just help.
My fingers are getting tired, so I guess now would be a good time to end this rambling. I would love to have more news to put in this article. Please send news to Princess or me. You can reach me at 806-679-6889. E-mail me at email@example.com.
Till next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often, and y’all have a great time.
Smoke and chips—A number of years ago, Karen and I went to a two-day trapshooting clinic. In the group there was a gal who was all by herself. Apparently her boyfriend thought trapshooting was something they could do together. He gave her one of his old guns to use, and if my memory is correct, it was a field gun with a very sharp drop. When we broke for lunch, her face was bloodied from an abrasion by her cheekbone. She left us at the break and never returned.
I was reminded of this yesterday at my club. A young man (to me, that’s anyone under 40) was “teaching” his girlfriend how to shoot. It was a lesson on what not to do. First of all, he chose the wobble trap. That is hard enough for those of us who have been around for a while, but as an introduction to trapshooting, I don’t think so. Next was her stance, she leaned back about 20º, and her head was nowhere near the comb. The first bird took off toward the sky, and there was about a five-second delay between her boyfriend calling, “Pull,” and her pulling the trigger. The shot knocked her backwards about one yard. This went on two more times and then she quit.
I was tempted to go running over and give her some very basic instruction, but who wants to be a buttinsky? Besides, it would be showing up her boyfriend, and that’s never good. Finally, and worst of all, I might be accused of toxic masculinity.
What should I have done? Perhaps approach her boyfriend and ask if they would like a few tips? If the answer is, “No, I’ll take care of it,” wish them a good day and get out of there. But if he says, “Okay,” then start from the beginning: stance, gun mount, where to look and so forth. Not too much; it is easy to go into overload. Most of all, be encouraging. Tell them that this is a sport in which the gals can beat the guys, and that I know that from personal experience. I love to watch the excitement when a new shooter breaks their first target. And hey, fellas, we need more gals on the trapline.
Around the state: This is a biggie—the ATA Western Zone (July 17-19) is going back to Tucson. Yeah, it can be hot there, but it will start every day at 8 a.m. and should finish well before mid afternoon, when the temperature peaks. There have been some terrific scores posted in the past.
In addition to the Zone, Casa Grande will shoot Big 50s July 13, 20 and 27; Rio Salado has a singles marathon on the 20th. Best check with them first to make sure that it is on. Pleasant Valley’s Summer Series continues July 24-26.
August shooting starts on the third with Big 50s at Casa Grande and a doubles marathon at Rio Salado. Again, better check with them before going. Then Flagstaff shoots Aug. 8-9 (call to make sure); Casa Grande has Big 50s on the 10th and 17th; and Tucson has a shoot on the 16th. There is still life in the good old Copper State.
See you on the line.
This year is turning out to be very bad in many ways. Our good friend Brad Spencer passed away on May 13 due to cancer. Brad was a great person and friend. I send my condolences to his family and friends.
I told you last month that John Vosnos’ father was very ill. Unfortunately George Vosnos passed away April 18. Sadly, John has lost both his parents in about two-and-one-half months.
It is at times like this that I remind myself what is important in life. I always say family and friends come first.
What I did during my
Hopefully, by the time you read this article, clubs will have started to open up and you have been able to get out and shoot a little. If not, the following are some ideas for you to occupy your time while quarantined, or maybe you have already done some of them. These activities can also be done during the cold winter months next year.
While on a walk, start kicking a rock and see how long it can keep you in tow. Then get in your car and clock the distance because you have nothing better to do. My wife Joy kicked the pictured rock for 40 minutes of our 50-minute walk for a distance of 2.2 miles. Not only is that true boredom, but it also has to be some sort of a useless record that was documented during the coronavirus outbreak. To take it a “step” further: I figured an average of 25 feet per kick, it worked out to be about 460 kicks, evenly distributed between right and left feet. We must have been really bored.
Straighten your trophy room. Find the trophies you don’t want or need anymore and donate them to the local club, or better yet, to the Special Olympics.
Straighten the reloading room. Remember that one ounce of shot you spilled last year? You swear it has now increased to a half pound. Recycle all the components from the poorly crimped reloads you have saved.
Reload more shells and then box them up. Sort them by practice, competition, singles, handicap and doubles.
Read the rulebook.
Exercise at home. Work on arms, lower back and core exercises. This will help you endure the 300-target days plus shootoffs.
Do gun mounts. Try to do 100 perfect gun mounts in five-mount increments.
Clean your gun. Learn how to take your gun apart for basic repairs, i.e. replacing trigger springs and firing pins. You can find almost any type of gun repair on YouTube.
Mentally practice shooting and getting into the zone. Shoot 100 targets in your mind, and sootball every one of them.
Read a book on the mental aspects of shooting/sports. There are many of them out there.
Call your buddies and talk about upcoming events. Plan your shoot calendar for the next year.
Discuss the good old days of trapshooting just to keep the juices flowing. For some of you, the good old days may have been last year.
Help get new sponsors for the state shoot.
Think of new/different trophies to give away at shoots. Trophies usually become a discussion at shoots. Everyone wants something “good.” But what is good for me may not be good for you. Until you have been on a trophy committee and realized how little the budget you have to work with is, you really can’t appreciate what a club or association goes through to sell a trophy package.
In the May and June issues of Trap & Field, I talked about some of the Utah shooters from the past. I want to add some things that I have since found out about some folks.
While I was attending Brad Spencer’s services in Payson, I ran into Dale Amos. I talked to him about the articles and such, and he told me the following:
Willie Manywhiskers passed away about two years ago. The year that Willie broke 399×400 at the Western Zone, he did it shooting three different borrowed guns. One for singles, one for handicap and one for doubles. That is raw talent.
Speaking of raw talent, when I asked Dale about the guns he shot, he told me he had to borrow a doubles gun on a regular basis because his was broken quite often. He told me that he once borrowed Jerry Batley’s Kolar for doubles. He said he never even shot a practice round with it, yet he broke the 100. When he returned it to Jerry, he said, “Too bad this gun will never see that kind of score again.”
ATA Western Zone Vice President
I thought I should start this month’s contribution with news about the 2020 WSTA championships. Since you are reading this in July and know that the state shoot didn’t happen in June, we would like to let our readers know the alternatives the board of directors have hashed out.
On June 16 the WSTA Board of Directors met with John Cushman of the Spokane GC. Taking the state’s four-phase reopening plan into consideration, which has no set-in-stone timeline, the board and host club decided to postpone the state shoot until Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-7. This means that we will start on Friday and end on Monday with the championship doubles and handicap on the last day. Our hope is that gives shooters a chance to participate in the full program while only having to take one day off from their work. The championship singles, being the only 200 targets scheduled for Sunday, should give us ample time for the annual meeting, and the two events Monday will allow us to wrap things up and give folks time to travel home or on to the next shoot. This is Plan A.
Plan B will be implemented if Washington has not yet entered Phase 4 of the reopening plan, which is where we would need to be for a gathering of this size. If we cannot make this work, we will postpone again until Oct. 11-12 and shoot the all-around events only, singles, doubles and handicap. The ATA will give until the first of November to hold a 2020 state shoot.
If the Grand American happens on schedule and before our state shoot, we will give our champion, junior and sub-junior singles champions from 2019 the option to represent us in the Champions of Champions race at the Grand. Since few of our shooters have had the opportunity to register many targets, we have dropped target requirements to 500 per discipline across the board for all categories to fill high-average teams. Some clubs may throw Big 50 events that will help you attain target requirements as well as satisfying that itch to just get out and shoot some ATA targets.
Clear as mud? I suppose these tentative plans are the best we can do in these uncertain times. We remain hopeful, and we hope you do. Truthfully there is no guarantee that any of this will happen, so we will just have to wait and see how well the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled and how soon our state moves into each phase of the plan for returning to at least a somewhat normal travel and gathering atmosphere. There may be restrictions and protocol that we will need to follow as trapshooting starts back up. Please be patient with club and shoot management, as there may be limits to how many folks can be in the clubhouses at one time. Classification and cashier lines may be slowed, but at least we will be able to shoot. Speaking for myself, I must say that I miss seeing all of you. Until we can be together, please stay safe. Shoot straight and keep your powder dry.
ATA Alternate Delegate
I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. There are more and more clubs opening, and there are shoots happening again. Overthrust GC had its first shoot of the year; it was a nice small shoot with 13 competitors. Three shooters earned their first punch—all shooting 96s.
Spanish Fork GC held their annual Memorial Day Shoot and did a fantastic job putting on their tournament and keeping everyone safe with social distancing guidelines. This was the first shooting many people have done in months. I had a great time, but I am not sure what was better, the shooting or listening to stories from the older and wiser shooters after the day’s events were done. Being a young shooter, I enjoy meeting and talking with others who have years of great stories.
The Western Grand is only a few weeks away and is the first All-American points shoot in a few months, I am anticipating a good turnout. In Wyoming most clubs are having shoots this month. The state shoot is on schedule for July 1-5 in Casper.
Now on to my favorite news to share: Nick Lawlar of Evanston shot his first 25 straight in singles and followed that up by winning D class doubles at Spanish Fork on Sunday of the Memorial Day Shoot.
I look forward to seeing you at upcoming shoots.